TAR
WHITE FLIGHT

The quick footed junkies scoot
across weedy fields in the dusk
above the freeway, collecting cans
in garbage bags along the top streets.
At five, the sun has already set.
The shadowy figures are gnomes
against the pink.
Heading north, woodsmoke
mixes with fog.
The sky bloodies.
Long ago, my second cousin
wrapped her silver poodle Garcon
in a blanket and locked the door
for days, as she mourned his shroud.
Here, ducks continue the narrow circle
of their pond
as the ice closes in.
A buck jolts from behind a bush
like a flash of magic.
Love takes the shape of neurotransmitters:
the quick, unexpected sparkle of epinephrine;
or serotonin--falling into a sleepy chasm.


Ann Lederer



THE VAGABONDS' PILGRIMAGE

"One feature that stem cells share is an urge to travel."

Christine Gorman, "Brave New Cells"
Time, May 1, 2000

If the trees had feet, they would go too.
Instead, they must whisper
their warnings to each other
far into the night,
when no one else will hear.
But the little old grannie on foot
from one coast to the other, tunes in.
Her radar is ready:
Campaigning to save the environment,
gathering publicity, collecting
twenty dollar bills along the way.
The threatened trees communicate
with invisible chemical signals,
like the do-gooder stem cells,
hell bent on their mission:
Attracted by cues (or cries)
from their maimed companions,
infiltrating tumors,
spreading their word.


Ann Lederer
ANN LEDERER's poems and creative nonfiction appear in such journals as Cross Connect, National Forum, Brevity, Wind, Samsara Quarterly, The Blue Moon Review, 2 River View, Comstock Review, Pudding, Green Hills Literary Lantern, online and elsewhere. She works as a Hospice nurse in Kentucky. Samples of Ann's published work can be viewed at her website.